Thursday, 8 November 2007

Re-Entry Visa

This is my first full day off in Tokyo now that I am finally living here.

I woke up at 11am. I had in mind to go to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Office to get my re-entry visa organised.

I still have a lot of time to do it, but knowing me if I leave it to the last minute I would forget about it, meaning that without it I will not be able to return to work in Japan next year, which in a word would be a real "bummer".

After a lot of procrastination, I managed to leave the apartment at 2:10pm.

I worked out that the cheapest way to get there is to get off at Shinagawa Station and walk the rest of the way.

The immigration website suggests to get off at Tennozu Isle Station, but that costs almost double and the walk isn't that much different.

There IS a bus to the Immigration Bureau from Shinagawa Station that costs 200 yen. True to my mantra, "That's Crunky money!", I decided I could manage the short 20 minute walk by myself thank you.

You'll know you're going the right way if you see the Minato-ku garbage factory tower on the left side of the second bridge.

From the bridge you can also see very clearly which building is the one. It's shaped like a cross.

The procedure is pretty painless. In 30 minutes I was outta there.

First I picked up an application form from the ground floor and proceeded to the D section on the next floor, where the lady informed me I didn't mark off that I was a male. Oh.

Before she put my application through she told me to go downstairs and buy a 6000 yen (multiple entry visa) revenue stamp from the am/pm convenience store while holding onto my gaijin card and passport ( true to it's name, conveniently located on the ground floor in the building).

I picked up another queue ticket thinking I'd have to wait in line, but she motioned me to come to the desk and had my passport already processed. Nice.

Shinagawa is a pretty ordinary place. I used to go through here quite often as it links my old Keikyu (Keihin Kyoku) Line between Tomioka and Tokyo. I thought there was a Suica Penguin shop but I could only find combini selling JR's overpriced penguin merchandise.

I made my way shortly after onwards to Akihabara, a strange place. The land of maids and geeks. I went through Electric Town looking for the Sony micro-portable and found a second-hand one for 69,800 yen which isn't too bad. Don't know if I really need it though.

I scored a plush turtle at the UFO catcher. It's made by the same company as the penguins and the purty fur feels similar. I did it for around 600 yen. It's VERY easy to lose track of how much yen you put in.

After that I met up with gf and we had dinner at a ramen noodle place in Yotsuya, with the unusual difference of tomato sauce and cheese. I was expecting it to taste like pasta, but the sauce was kind of spicy with unexpected pieces of tender chicken. Gochiso sama Deshita!


sundar said...

I have had such a bad experience for getting this Australian visa i have spend around 5000$ for getting this visa

Jimmy In Japan said...

I have no idea how hard it is to get an Australian visa. I'm sorry you had so many problems.

Japan was relatively easy. If you have any kind of "cornflake cereal box" degree you are in!

I recommend anyone to give Japan a go. There is no place like it.

Want to be an astronaut? Come to THIS planet.

jos said...

Thanks jimmy for nice information about japan visa. Can you also give information about Emigrate to spain.